Shopping centre landlord Intu warned it is prepared to take “robust action” against “well-capitalised” tenants that refuse to pay rent during the coronavirus crisis.
Intu, which owns Manchester’s Trafford Centre, said it had received 40 per cent of rent due for the first quarter. It is in advanced discussions with tenants representing a further 28 per cent of the amount due.
The property giant is offering tenants monthly rents to the end of the year and is in the process of agreeing revised payment plans with occupiers.
However Intu said it would take “robust action” against a small number of “large, well-capitalised” brands that have not paid rent.
In a statement this morning the company said: “There are a very small number of cases where customers are not currently engaging with us to find a consensual solution – these are large, well-capitalised brands who have the ability to pay but have chosen not to.
“In these instances we are prepared to take more robust action to enforce the legally binding terms of those leases.”
Last week the government banned “aggressive” rent collections tactics by commercial landlords.
It has has temporarily blocked the use of statutory demands and winding up orders until at least June following pressure from the retail and hospitality sectors.
The government has said tenants should pay if they can and work with landlords to come to an agreement. Concerns were raised that some occupiers would refuse to pay struggling property owners.
In an update this morning Intu also announced it had agreed a waiver on potential breaches of its revolving credit facility until 26 June.
Intu also said it has furloughed around 60 per cent of staff at shopping centres and 20 per cent of head office employees.
The Intu board will take a 20 per cent salary cut for the next three months. The company has also identified £3m in short-term cost savings, it said.